noun (1), often attributive
\ ˈkläk How to pronounce clock (audio) \
plural clocks

Definition of clock

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a device other than a watch for indicating or measuring time commonly by means of hands moving on a dial broadly : any periodic system by which time is measured
2 : a registering device usually with a dial specifically : odometer
4 : a synchronizing device (as in a computer) that produces pulses at regular intervals
against the clock
1 : with or within a time constraint working against the clock
2 : with clocked speed rather than the order of finish as the criterion for placement trial races against the clock
around the clock or less commonly round the clock
1 : continuously for 24 hours : day and night without cessation
2 : without relaxation and heedless of time
kill the clock or run out the clock
: to use up as much as possible of the playing time remaining in a game (such as football) while retaining possession of the ball or puck especially to protect a lead

— see also a race against the clock


clocked; clocking; clocks

Definition of clock (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1a : to time with a stopwatch or by an electric timing device
b : to be timed at
2 : to register on a mechanical recording device wind velocities were clocked at 80 miles per hour
3 : to hit hard
4 chiefly British : attain, realize usually used with up just clocked up a million … paperback salesPunch
5a : to travel (a distance) over time clocks more than 15,000 miles a year on business
b : put in sense 3 clocking long hours at the office

intransitive verb

1 : to have a specified duration or speed used with in the movie clocked in at just under 3 hours broadly : to have a specified measure or value used with in the meal clocked in at about $15
2 : to register on a time sheet or time clock : punch used with in, out, on, off he clocked in late


noun (2)

Definition of clock (Entry 3 of 3)

: an ornamental figure on the ankle or side of a stocking or sock

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Other Words from clock


clocker noun

Examples of clock in a Sentence

Verb He clocked 3 hours and 15 minutes in his last marathon. His fastest pitch was clocked at 91 miles per hour. The cop said she clocked me going 95 miles per hour. I was so angry I wanted to clock him.
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First Known Use of clock

Noun (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1883, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Noun (2)

1530, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for clock

Noun (1)

Middle English clok, from Middle Dutch clocke bell, clock, from Old French or Medieval Latin; Old French dialect (Picard) cloque bell, from Medieval Latin clocca, of Celtic origin; akin to Middle Irish clocc bell

Noun (2)

perhaps from clock entry 1

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Time Traveler for clock

Time Traveler

The first known use of clock was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near clock




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Statistics for clock

Cite this Entry

“Clock.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Oct. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

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More Definitions for clock



English Language Learners Definition of clock

: to measure the amount of time it takes for (a person) to do something or for (something) to be completed
: to finish a race in (an amount of time)
: to measure or show (the speed of something) with a measuring device


\ ˈkläk How to pronounce clock (audio) \

Kids Definition of clock

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a device for measuring or telling the time and especially one not meant to be worn or carried by a person
around the clock
: at every hour of the day The store is open around the clock.


clocked; clocking

Kids Definition of clock (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to measure the amount of time it takes to do something We ran while the coach clocked us.
2 : to show (as time or speed) on a recording device


\ ˈkläk How to pronounce clock (audio) \

Medical Definition of clock

More from Merriam-Webster on clock

Nglish: Translation of clock for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of clock for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about clock


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